Newsletter #10
Hello again, readers dearest, and welcome to our tenth newsletter. Read on for Brisbanesque delights and a peek into what our partner projects across QUT have been working on this semester.

Thank you to everyone who submitted to Issue Five of ScratchThat! Artist submissions are still open until midnight, so get scratching.
We will be launching Issue Five on Friday June 4. Save the date - information for our launch party will be coming out on our socials very soon.

Once again, this issue features emerging artist Rhiannon Lobley. Look out for her four incredible pieces as you peruse. You can find Rhiannon on Instagram at @nandles.
Exciting news! ScratchThat is currently running two giveaways.

Subscribe to our newsletter for the chance to win TEN amazing Australian books. The winner will be announced in our next newsletter.

Additionally, there are five posters hidden around campus. All you have to do is find one of these special giveaway posters, take a photo with it, and upload that photo to your Instagram story with @scratchthat.mag tagged to win a bookish prize!

QUT Literary Salon
Hi guys, Jakeb here again! If you're curious about the QUT Literary Salon, I have some information for you. The QUT Literary Salon is a monthly salon where QUT students read written work they have submitted. Each month has a different theme. We've had submissions from many faculties, showcasing all writers of QUT.

This year we have had themes such as heirlooms, assumptions, and the upcoming Brisbania. In September, we have our Pride salon coinciding with Brisbane pride month. At the end of the year, we release a collection that includes the best submissions from the year. The collection is an excellent opportunity for students to obtain publication before leaving university.

Please follow us at @qutlitsalon on Instagram and The QUT Literary Salon on Facebook to stay up to date.
What we've been consuming

An antique store is an excellent place for an art exhibition. This is something I discovered the other day, wondering rows of record players and writing desks in Paddington’s Empire Revival. Once a grand cinema from the late 1920’s, this heritage-listed building is now a cathedral of artifacts. At the back, behind the trinket-stuffed shelves, there is a staircase leading to a small gallery. Here, I was amazed to find Nick Warren’s Halfway Staircase exhibition. Consisting of eleven luminous pieces, the work sprawls across the walls in a vibrant assemblage of colours. Warren ensnares the viewer’s attention, guiding us on a magnetic journey of transition. From scrawled letters to bubble-clad fighting fish, these artworks are as compelling as they are exquisitely crafted. The imagery is fascinating, including artfully rendered anatomy and vintage novelty boxes for girls and boys. After taking in the bright canvases and neon lights, the viewer's eyes are eventually drawn to the butterflies, quietly drinking sunlight from the window. I would very much have loved to stay in that tiny, colourful room. Be sure to check it out at Empire Revival on Latrobe Terrace before June 6. You can find Warren’s art at @nickwarren_artist.

This week, dear readers, I am unfortunately only able to offer a single recommendation as my meager offering to you. As exams rear their heads, you may want to get out of the house for an afternoon and set your sights on something artistic and inspirational. Luckily for you, BAD 2021 (Brisbane Art Design) is up and running, with various art installations and shows popping up around the city. I went to see Botanica in the City Botanic Gardens, which was an incredible tour through nine light-based contemporary art installations. Flower beds were replaced with glow-in-the-dark bone gardens, and trees emblazoned with LED lips whispered eerily in the night. While Botanica concluded on May 16, BAD is still running, and there's heaps more to see and do throughout the city until the end of the month. Have a squiz at the BAD website and get viewing!


This week I've been reading Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor. Lawlor's novel is a hypnotic tale following Paul -- sometimes Polly -- a shapeshifting bartender drifting through different towns and different genders as he pleases. 
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl is bursting with love, sex, joy and adventure. Simultaneously, the novel deals with the pressure Paul feels to conform to the categories outlined by society (like those surrounding gender and sexuality), as well as the struggles the LGBTQ+ community felt in the nineties facing threats such as the AIDS epidemic and discrimination. 
If you're looking to read something fresh and wholly original, this is a book that will deliver just that. 
A platter of ponderings

There is something special about reading a book set in your hometown. About turning the page and discovering that you recognise the scene; that street corner, that movie theatre, that stretch of desolate land behind Bunnings. You have been there, you have driven past on the way to dance class, you have scraped your knee on that uneven bitumen. When the author describes a dusty quality to the air, you can still taste it. Your lungs remember it keenly. 

This is not something I come across often. As a Brisbane dweller, very few of the books I read take place in my city. I thought little of it until grade nine, when we read Michael Gerard Bauer’s The Running Man for school. The story centres around a boy living in Ashgrove, who is terrified of the strange, dishevelled man always hurrying through the streets. It was a surreal experience, sitting in a classroom in the middle of Ashgrove, reading about events taking places only blocks away. The rules of the world felt broken, as though I could look outside the window and find a camera crew filming the lunch tables. 

Many years later, I experienced a similar feeling when my mum told me she saw Trent Dalton at the supermarket. At the time, the hype surrounding Boy Swallows Universe was at an international high. We had our own local celebrity, browsing the aisles of Coles and bringing our city to lyrical life. Reading Dalton, Brisbanites encounter multiple jolts of vivid recognition. This is true even for the premise: breaking into Boggo Road Gaol. The family I nannied for lived across the street from the gaol. Not long ago, I attended a music festival held in the courtyard, with the stage set up beneath a looming watch tower. I wandered the blocks, stood in the cells, read the graffiti scrawled on the walls. A good writer can transport their reader anywhere, but this is an intimate kind of understanding. Like walking into an art gallery and finding your childhood home rendered in perfect detail. To those living in Brisbane, homegrown authors allow us to see our world in a new, magical light. 

Trent Dalton will be the guest reader at this month’s QUT Literary Salon. To hear him read, come along to the Grove Bar at Kelvin Grove campus on Thursday, May 27 at 4pm.

Writing and art prompts just for you

Take a place, perhaps the cemetery down the road from your house. It’s almost as old as the city, you know. Who was walking those rows twenty years ago? Fifty? A hundred? Are the people, the conversations between the headstones, really that different? 

Or, you might take an item. How many hands have touched that chest of drawers at the op shop? What was she thinking about, the woman who owned it thirty years ago? What did she keep in the hidden compartment? 

Imagine how your place or item has been changed throughout history. Write, draw, create the story.

Road trips give us a lot of time to ponder.
Ponder everything from the ups and downs and twists and turns of our everyday life to the greatest unanswered questions of the universe. Even the smallest trips give us a brief opportunity to let our minds wonder!
Think of a time you've been slouched in your seat on a road trip --  what were you thinking about?

Imagine something strange happening in a place you visit everyday. This can be hard when repetition becomes mundane, but try to visualise it. Maybe a crow begins talking to you from its perch on your washing line. Maybe the stranger in the grocery store line warns you that you're a target. Maybe you find an older version of yourself waiting at the bus stop. Draw, write, paint the most peculiar scene.
Partner Projects
Updates from other projects in the works
Film and TV Studio
We have almost 30 filmed projects in total. 8 documentaries are in post-production and 7 music videos are either shooting or commencing editing. Vermillion Live is also in post, while the SCP BTS project, Climate Change, Book Trailers and Artist Interviews are all still being shot.
Amplifying a Publisher
In the pipeline we have three book trailers, a number of research projects, marketing plans and web resources, two audiobooks, dozens of magazine articles, a literary map of Australia, author video interviews, and more!
We are working towards showing four works responding to the overarching theme of sentience, divided into sub-themes of animality, machinic sense and sensibility, matter's mattering and the politics of sentience. We are about to begin the final stages of development and building of technical infrastructure in collaboration with the studios team.

To communicate messages about climate change, a live performance and an interactive online website are being developed with SERF's ecological research. This multidisciplinary project is separated into three groups working together to curate a holistic performance. A live performance will run at SERF from 3:00-5:30pm. Due to COVID restrictions and to prevent damage on the land, the live performance will entertain 40 people. The performance will be filmed to create a documentary that will be featured on the Symbiocene interactive website.

Live Theatre
See the posters below.
Happy scratching!
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